ISKCON Bangalore will celebrate Panihati Chida-dahi Mahotsava on 20 June 2024, 7 AM onwards, at ISKCON Sri Radha Krishna Temple, Rajajinagar. 

Panihati Chida-dahi Mahotsava is celebrated to commemorate a significant event in the history of Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya when Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami received Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s blessings to attain shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami and the Panihati Mahotsava 

Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, born around 1494 AD in Saptagram, Hooghly, West Bengal, was the only son of wealthy landlord Govardhana Majumdar. He became one of the six principal disciples of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He desired to assist in the Lord’s mission of spreading Harinama Sankirtana. However, family constraints initially hindered his desire. 

Srila Raghunatha Dasa displayed a strong sense of detachment from worldly life from a young age. He had an intense longing to join Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission of spreading the holy names and glories of Lord Krishna. Nonetheless, he encountered obstacles when trying to depart from home and dedicate his life to serving Lord Chaitanya.

Upon hearing about Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s visit to Panihati, Raghunatha Dasa went to meet him. Sri Nityananda Prabhu, an incarnation of Lord Balarama, was seated under a banyan tree by the Ganges, surrounded by devotees. Raghunatha Dasa hesitated to approach but was eventually noticed and summoned by Nityananda Prabhu, who playfully accused him of hiding like a thief. Nityananda Prabhu placed his lotus feet on Raghunatha’s head and ordered him to celebrate a festival by serving yoghurt and chipped rice to the devotees, marking the first Chida-dahi Mahotsava.

With the blessings of Nityananda Prabhu, Raghunatha Dasa overcame all the impediments in his spiritual path and soon joined Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and became one of His close associates.

This joyful chida-dahi festival is annually celebrated on the thirteenth day of the bright moon in the month of Jyeshtha (May-June) in Panihati and the Hare Krishna Movement centres worldwide.

Panihati Chida-dahi Celebrations 

ISKCON Bangalore celebrates this festival every year with grand abhisheka for Their Lordships Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga, followed by a boat festival and distribution of Chida-dahi Maha Prasadam.

The temple pond is beautifully decorated with colourful flowers floating on its calm ripples. The utsava Deities of Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga are carried from the main temple hall to the pond in a pallakki decorated with flowers. An abhisheka is performed with milk, curd, ghee, honey, jaggery water, and exotic fruit juices. The abhisheka is followed by a grand arati, after which the Deities are taken for a boat ride (Theppotsava) in the temple pond. 

Devotees prepare a variety of dishes by mixing chipped rice with condensed milk, yoghurt, sugar, bananas, mangoes, and assorted savouries, just as Raghunatha Dasa did. These offerings are first offered to Srila Prabhupada and Sri Nitai Gauranga, then distributed to all assembled devotees as maha prasadam (sanctified food).

Experience the spiritual bliss and community spirit at ISKCON Bangalore’s Chida-dahi Mahotsava. Join us in celebrating this divine festival and receive the blessings of Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga. Hare Krishna!

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Related Links:  Chida-dahi Recipes |  Five lessons to be learnt from the ‘Festival of Punishment’ | Delightful story of Panihati Chida-dahi festival